EVERYTHING that we have in life is a gift. However, whether we think of life as a gift or not, the opposite – loss – is the common experience of all.

In life, there is the experience of loss of employment through redundancy or retirement; there is the loss of health and capability through ill-health and ageing; there is the loss of friends and loved ones through death; and we even lose our own bodies at the point of our own death – nothing appears to remain, all is lost and taken away from us.

When I look at my own life, I see these many threads of my life; the more colourful ones of success, happiness and contentment, and the darker tones of failure, sadness and bereavement. And yet, when I look at my life, I see another thread there that is distinct from the others, sometimes slightly hidden and at other times bright and bold. This other thread in my life is the Golden Thread, the thread that is always there. It is the relationship I have with God.

And this thread is different from the other threads. The other threads come to an end, even the thread of my own life will come to an end. But the Golden Thread continues to my death, through my death and beyond. The Golden Thread never ends because my relationship with God will never come to an end – when all else is lost and taken away, He remains.

The Rev Brian Streeter, Benefice of Egton cum Newland, Lowick with Blawith and Colton